Real TVI Express FAQ: TVIExpress.com Holiday Inc illegal scam in Australia, USA, South Africa, India, and Philippines?
These questions are the ones TVI Express customer support will not answer for you, but should. It addresses some of the most asked questions regarding TVI Express.
These are the questions that are NOT answered on TVI Express website, but you've always wanted to ask.
These are the questions your TVI Express uplines are afraid to answer.
NOTE: This is about "TVI Express" a company allegedly headquartered in London, UK, and supposedly sell travel. If you are looking for the acting studio, the TV channel, or the mining company, you're in the wrong article.
This hub was compiled with publicly available information such as news, member comments, and so on. Unreliable information will be included but labeled. This hub will be updated with new information when they become available.
Updated: 29-NOV-2011 Updated with misc changes and latest news
What is TVI Express?
Q: What does TVI Express do?
A: TVI Express itself claims to offer travel opportunity through direct selling, over the Internet. However, several countries have declared that TVI Express is a pyramid scheme.
Q: Which countries have alleged that TVI Express is a pyramid scheme?
A: Following countries have declared TVI Express illegal: United States, Australia, China, Georgia, Tajikstan, Indonesia, Hungary, Namibia, Swaziland, India, and South Africa (and that's just those with publicly announced charges, others may be conducting non-public investigations).
Q: Wait, United States has alleged TVI Express is a pyramid?
A: State of Georgia, in United States of America, had issued TVI Express members a "cease and desist" order as of 7-SEP-2010, according to several TVI Express supporter websites in the US. The same report also stated that TVI Express is likely in violation of FTC regulations, which is a Federal level crime. Furthermore, a TV station in Maryland have also highlighted TVI Express in its "scam alert" segment, warning people that local BBB chapter (Better Business Bureau, a private consumer protection agency) considered the business extremely suspicious.
Q: What about the other countries? What do other countries say about TVI Express?
A: Other countries not listed above have not made specific allegations against TVI Express. However, the public usually are not privy to specific investigations until they are made public. Some countries' media have spoken out against TVI Express. Those countries includes India, Indonesia, Botswana, Vietnam, Spain, Germany, and more.
Q: Why did State of Georgia allege that TVI Express is a pyramid scheme?
A: Because TVI Express doesn't sell anything, but require all members to recruit two more members. This is known as a "cycler", and in fact, is identical to the "airplane game" as documented in Wikipedia.
Q: What does TVI Express sell? I thought it sells travel?
A: TVI Express itself is very vague about what they sell. It simply claims to provide an opportunity that somehow combines Internet, network marketing (later revised to say "home-based business"), and travel. TVI Express website has no 'product' page or section at all. Its own FAQ states "you do not need to sell any products", so its emphasis is not on selling anything.
There are two items that TVI Express distributors have named as their product (neither is an official explanation) 1) the 7-day 6-night hotel accommodation with free return ticket that you get upon joining, or 2) the access to a travel booking portal you can access through TVI Express "back office" upon joining. However, neither is what they appear to be. The trip is a benefit to members, not a product to be sold, and is nearly impossible to redeem. The so-called backoffice is a relabeled portal to Travelocity, but Travelocity is free to use. Thus, neither is a proper product. The only thing TVI Express really wants to sell is its own membership.
Q: But their FAQ says that you do need to sell products!
A: TVI Express revised their FAQ in June 2011. However, it has yet to reveal what are you supposed to be selling. If it is this mysterious, it surely can't be travel.
Q: Selling travel is legal. So why is TVI Express called a scam?
A: TVI Express FAQ states that "you do not need to sell any products". So it is NOT selling travel. UPDATE: TVI Express has revised its FAQ in June 2011 to claim you do need to sell products. However, checking the entire website finds no mention of such a "product".
Q: But my upline / promoter said TVI Express sells hotel vouchers!
A: Who are you going to believe? The official TVI Express website, or the words of an upline whose words contradict the official website?
Q: But TVI Express is an investment company!
A: Can you prove that? I can cite at least 5 places where it referred to itself as direct sales or multi-level marketing company.
Q: But it's a ______ (matrix / board / whatever)! That's not a pyramid! Why are you calling it a pyramid?
A: Whatever name it goes by, it is still a pyramid. 2x3 matrix is same as 1-2-4-8 pyramid. And it doesn't explain why it sells nothing.
Q: But there are only four levels! It's a tiny pyramid! Why is that illegal?
A: Just because the pyramid is small does not mean it is legal. Besides, you have two matrices, or boards to "cycle through", the "traveller board", and the "express board". That's at least 8 levels, even more if you have to cycle through multiple times for some of the "incentives" like luxury car, laptop computer, and so on.
Q: But there are FOUR WAYS to earn money through TVI Express! Surely some of those ways are legal?
A: If you actually read the descriptions of the four ways, all four depend on recruiting:
- Board payout -- You have to recruit to "fill" the "revolving matrix" to get the board payout.
- Residual income -- it depends on number of your downlines, and you expand your downlines through recruiting.
- Power pool -- allegedly a share of the "global revenue", but you only get a share if you become a presidential associate, and the only way you get to presidential associate is you have to cycle through the express board multiple times, which is, of course, recruiting.
- Incentives -- villas and cars and laptops... You have to cycle through the express board multiple times, and of course, you do that by... recruiting.
UPDATE: All these explanations were removed from the FAQ, but is still in the "compensation plan" page.
Q: Why is TVI Express a pyramid scheme, and Amway is not?
A: Simple: Amway independent representatives actually have to sell something for their upline to earn money (and for him/herself to earn money as well.) TVI Express's own FAQ (used to) say "you don't need to sell any products". TVI Express has NO sales to outside customers, therefore it is all recruiting, and thus, fundamentally different from Amway (or any other legitimate MLM).
Q: But I am selling TVI Express club membership! It's a travel club, and selling membership is legal! Membership is a product!
A1: TVI Express never claimed to be a club anywhere on its website. It calls its members "distributors", not "club members". So what are you supposed to be distributing? More memberships? Then you're recruiting.
A2: A real club have real benefits. TVI Express benefits are illusory and disguises its scam. TVI Express backoffice is available for FREE on Travelocity.com, and the 7-day 6-night trip is impossible to redeem and now requires additional $150 in fees. Thus, TVI Express has no real benefits. Reports from South Africa shows that TVI Express is simply NOT booking the trips at all. Many families arrived at hotels and resorts with alleged bookings from TVI Express that either were completely unbooked ("we have no such reservation") or unpaid ("We have a reservation, but it has not been paid.")
A3: TVI Express describes itself as a business opportunity, NOT a travel club.
Q: How much do I really get paid if I *do* manage to cycle through both "board" or "matrix" or whatever?
A: $10000 USD into your "eWallet", plus "reentry into express board", according to TVI Express FAQ. What do you actually get paid in terms of REAL money? ZERO. NOTHING. NADA. (Read #19 in their FAQ: all payout goes into your eWallet. UPDATE: This was removed as well. What are they trying to hide?)
Q: Why do other websites say $15000 cash?
A: It was NEVER cash. And that extra $5000 is a "group travel voucher", according to Tarun Trikha, TVI Express advisory board member (who has since disappeared from advisory board). You can only use that $5000 voucher toward some "group event" to be held in your area. This was explained in a conference call dated October 2009, but not on TVI Express website, so the explanation may not be official. The $5000 voucher information disappeared altogether from the TVI Express website in 2010, but was archived on other websites. Any one who said $15000 cash is quoting outdated information, misunderstood, or lying.
Q: What is an eWallet?
A: eWallet is your "account" on TVI Express website. All your "payout" goes into your eWallet, not cash. It may be considered illegal in many countries, as it is considered "banking". (See TVI Express FAQ #19)
Q: Why is eWallet potentially illegal?
A: Multiple African countries, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland, issued official warnings that TVI Express apparently violated national banking laws by performing "banking activities without a license". Central Bank of these countries countries are investigating.
TVI Express members in Swaziland claim that they have "global permit", according to one newspaper in Swaziland. The officials in the Central Bank replied that there is no such thing as "global permit". If you do business in one country, you have to get that country's business license.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This sounds remarkably similar to TVI Express members in China back in June 2009. They claimed back then that TVI Express is international e-Commerce and thus China have no jurisdiction over TVI Express. China went after local perpetrators starting in July 2009, and convicted many to prison since.
Q: How do I convert eWallet into real money?
A: Several ways, none of which is simple
- Convert the eWallet amount into eVoucher codes, then sell individual eVoucher codes to new members to join, and pocket the money. This is illegal, as it is an "endless chain" / Ponzi scheme scam, where new members are paying old members.
- Request TVI Express for wire transfer, which will cost you a BIG chunk of fees, possibly 30-40 USD, and take a long time. It is also rumored by some that TVI Express has started charging a huge "tax" or "fees", with no further explanation.This cannot be confirmed, but there has been no denial either.
- Request TVI Express for transfer balance to Liberty Reserve. You will need to pay a conversion fee, and then there are additional fees to transfer whatever is left into your bank account. It will take some time.There has been reports that sometimes the transfer request is denied with no particular reason. UPDATE: Solid Trust Pay cancelled TVI Express account in 2010.
Q: Does TVI Express have a membership card?
A: TVI Express does not issue membership cards. Upon joining, you are emailed a "certificate" number which contains a code you can then use on their website to 'redeem' the trip. And that is the extent of your "introduction". All such "cards" on TVI Express member websites are complete fabrications.
Q: Then what are those "membership cards" shown on some TVI Express websites?
A: Those are invented by individual members are are not official in any way shape or form.
Q: What is that ATM card or whatever TVI Express shown on the website?
A: Tarun Trikha, TVI Express advisory member (no longer a member), explained in October 2009, that it is a program they only have in Asia, and is not available elsewhere at the time. It is NOT a membership card. Keep in mind that this is not official information, and may not be accurate.
Additional info... In an unofficial announcement passed through various "uplines" dated September 2010, Tarun Trikha, TVI Express advisory board member, allegedly said that TVI Express has contracted with a Canadian company called "Net Cash" to provide the debit cards. However, search on Internet shows no such company called Net Cash. NetCash.com is a porn website.
TVI Express Legality
Q: Is TVI Express legal?
A: There are several definitions of legal. Do you mean are they a legally registered company, or are they operating legally?
Q: Is TVI Express a legally registered business entity?
A: Which one? The one in UK, the one in India, the one in Indonesia, or the one in Cyprus? Oh, and the one in Philippines, and the one in Kazahkstan?
Q: There are that many different different TVI Expresses?
A: Says so on their website: UK office, Cyprus office, India office, and the most recent, Indonesia office. The Philippine office and Kzahkstan office was announced in 2011.
Q: But are they not the same company?
A: They all have different corporate names, and their inter-relations were never explained. There are TVI SERVICES (UK? Cyprus? India?), TVI EXPRESS (Cyprus?), TVI EXPRESS HOLIDAYS (India), and PT TVI Express (Indonesia), no idea bout Philippines and Kazahkstan.
Q: Who are you to say TVI SERVICES (UK) is related to TVI Express?
A: I didn't. TVI Express distributors did on various comments and websites.
Q: Where is TVI Express' LEGAL address, as required by E.U. business regulations?
A: Currently, that address is in Cyprus, which is a little island off Turkey, about as far as you can get from Europe, but still be in Europe. It was in UK for a time, but that changed around September 2009.
Q: But TVI Express is headquartered in London, UK. Why is it in Cyprus?
A: Their website says so. Look at the bottom of their homepage.
UPDATE: In May 2011, TVI Express no longer claims to be "headquartered in London UK". So where did they go?
Q: But if TVI Express are headquartered in London, UK, how can their legal address be in... Cyprus?
A: That's one of the questions TVI Express won't answer. A possible explanation is that they have established a "legal" headquarters somewhere else for tax and legal purposes. On the other hand, Cyprus is also where Al Qaeda registered many ships using front companies. Cyprus is where Russia Mafia laundered their money, using "offshore companies", i.e. company that is registered in Cyprus, but has no actual physical presence other than a piece of paper.
UPDATE: In May 2011, TVI Express no longer claims to be "headquartered in London UK"
Q: Is TVI Express in UK a legally registered business entity?
A: There is no company registered in UK called "TVI Express" or "Travel Ventures" or variations. There is a registered company called "TVI SERVICES", but there's no official link between it and TVI Express other than member allegations. At one time, TVI Express "terms and conditions" did mention "TVI SERVICES", but all mentions of that have now disappeared from their website.
Also, the registration date of TVI SERVICES is March 2009. If TVI Express did indeed start operating in January 2009 as they said they did, and they are indeed TVI Services, then they operated for two months without a license. Finally, the official address of TVI SERVICES in UK is in Surrey, not London. Thus, link to TVI Express is unknown.
UPDATE: in March of 2011, the registration for TVI SERVICES in UK expired and was not renewed. If that is indeed TVI Express in UK, they are operating illegally in the UK.
Q: So where is TVI Express in UK?
A: As of December 2009, it is at 1 Fruzeground Way, Uxbridge, UK
UPDATE: in March of 2011, the registration for TVI SERVICES in UK expired and was not renewed. If that is indeed TVI Express in UK, they are operating illegally in the UK.
Q: Uxbridge? It's not in London?
A: Google maps says it's about 15.7 miles from middle of London, definitely in the suburbs.
Q: Why did you say Uxbridge, when their address lists Heathrow?
A: Google maps says TVI Express is wrong. The address is in Uxbridge. Uxbridge is very close to Heathrow, but have different postal codes so they are NOT the same.
Q: What was the old TVI Express address, the one in London?
A: TVI Express former UK address was 55 Bryanston St, London, UK. In fact, Google Maps business listing still shows that address for TVI Express. That is, of course, out of date.
Q: So what's wrong with the move? They probably needed the space.
A: The address is the front-door of a huge building. There is no room number, or wing number or floor number. It shows every sign of being a "virtual office", which lets you "rent" a prestigious address without actually being a tenant there. Calls to building receptionist, confirmed by online tenant listing, shows no company such as TVI Express having ever been there. TVI Express itself announced that it is moving its office in September 2009, and did not reveal the Uxbridge address until December 2009. No one knows where they operated from during those months.
Q: Perhaps they moved to the "Heathrow" office?
A: The "Heathrow" address of TVI Express was not revealed until December 2009. The period between September 2009 and December 2009 cannot be explained. During that period TVI Express even disconnected their phone service, and only operated as an e-mail address and website. Furthermore, the "Heathrow" office (which is NOT in Heathrow as explained earlier), is certainly a virtual office.
Q: Is the "Heathrow" office a real or a virtual office?
A: The Heathrow office shows the same problems as the London office... points to the front door of the building, but not any particular room, wing, or floor. Furthermore, Regus, a well-known virtual office (and real office) provider, owns the building, and there are at least 14 other businesses sharing the exact same address (that exact building). Also, TVI Express announcement explained that they will only accept walk-in visitors "by appointment". Thus, it is certain this is a virtual office, where a meeting room can be rented.
Q: But isn't Heathrow near London?
A: It is NEAR London, but it is not IN London. The border of a city is exact. You are either in, or out. There is no "maybe". Furthermore, The address given by TVI Express is actually in Uxbridge, NOT Heathrow. They even got their own address wrong.
Q: Is TVI Express in Cyprus a legally registered business entity?
A: Yes it is. However, there is also a "TVI SERVICES" registered in Cyprus as well. It may or may not be a coincidence. In 2009, when TVI Express was taking wire transfer payments, all payments are paid to "TVI SERVICES" via a bank in Cyprus.
Q: Is the Cyprus office a real or a virtual office?
A: The Cyprus office also shows the same problems as the London and Heathrow offices... it points to the front door of the building, but not any particular room, wing, or floor. Furthermore, check of Google discovered at least three other businesses shared that exact same address in Cyprus. There are hints that there may be many other businesses registered to that exact same address hidden in PDF files searchable through Google.
Q: Is TVI Express in India a legally registered business entity?
A: Yes it is. However, there is also a "TVI SERVICES" registered in India in the same city. It may or may not be a coincidence. Please keep in mind that TVI Express was investigated in Sikkim India by local police after 6000+ members complained of deception. TVI Express announced a refund in March 2010, without admitting to any wrongdoing. Local HGTI official (tourism board?) called TVI "fake tourism organization" out to fleece locals, and called for wider investigation.
UPDATE: In February 2011, TVIExpress.com WHOIS domain registration records revealed that it is owned by Tarun Trikha, and listed the Bangalore India address as its official address.
UPDATE: In July 2011, TVI Express office in Bangalore India was raided by police and two were arrested for defrauding people buying travel. ( see Indian news article )
Q: Is the India office a real or a virtual office?
A: The TVI Express office in India is apparently a real office, as someone was able to provide pictures of the building and the building sign indicating TVI Express office. However, it is a small 5-story building. There is no interior picture, no sign on a door, or building directory, just a sign outside and picture of a building next to the sign. No employees at a desk, and so on.
NOTE: As of February 2011, the contact name listed for the domain tviexpress.com is Tarun Trikha, and the Bangalore India address.
NOTE: TVI Express Bangalore India office was raided by Police in July 2011, so it is a real office.
Q:Is the Indonesia office a real or virtual office?
A: The TVI Express office in Indonesia is in a shopping center's upper floors sharing location with many other businesses.Some Indonesians have remarked that it's just a location where offices can be rented month to month. This cannot be confirmed.
UPDATE: A business certificate shown on tviexpresdollar.com shows that the registered owner of TVI Express Indonesia is Ms. Goernani Goernawan, TVI Express "presidential associate" of Indonesia. However, legality of this enterprise is doubtful as this is business registration is NOT for a multi-tier sales business (i.e. MLM), but for a normal business. The business is also NOT registered with the APLI (Indonesia Direct Sales Association), nor does it sell travel. Its registered business type is "computer / software / electronics sales / consultant". So basically, they claim NOT to be network marketing / MLM, even though TVI Express itself claims to be MLM.
UPDATE: PT TVI Express Indonesia's operating license was revoked by BKPM on August 3rd, 2011.
Q: Is TVI Express legally registered in Philippines with the SEC?
A: There is a company registered with the Philippines SEC in October 2010 called TVI EXPRESS HOLIDAYS PHILIPPINES, INC. However, the certificate does NOT authorize certificate holder to perform activities that requires a secondary license, such as "time share / club share / membership certificate issuer or selling agents". As TVI Express definitely requires membership / distributorship, its legality is questionable.
There is also no office address listed on the certificate. Thus, the only proof of this company is a piece of paper... as of February 2011.
Q: Is TVI Express compliant with Filipino Law?
A: TVI Express is very likely in violation of Filipino law. Philippines Department of Trade and Industry Administrative Order No. 8 states that pyramid schemes are illegal in Philippines, and reading TVIExpress.com shows it is virtually impossible for it to pass the criteria outlined in that administrative order. However, actual enforcement would be up to the Filipino government. Furthermore, TVI Express is not a member of Direct Selling Association of Philippines (DSAP), or any DSA chapter anywhere around the world. Thus, its legitimacy is already questionable.
Q: So in which country is TVI Express officially located in? Whose jurisdiction?
A: According to TVI Express website disclaimer, they are subject to India and Cyprus laws.
Q: How can they be headquartered in UK but not subject to UK laws?
A: That is another question TVI Express will not answer. Strangely, in their website disclaimer, they claim they are subject to certain UK law regarding electronic communication, even though their webserver is physically located in Southern California, USA.
UPDATE: The web server has been moved to Ukraine in late 2010.
UPDATE: TVI EXPRESS no longer claims to be headquartered in London UK as of May 2011.
Q: So if you call TVI Express phone number, which has country code 44... Where do your call go?
A: Country code 44 is indeed London UK, but from where, your calls could be forwarded anywhere. Nobody knows where. It is called VOIP forwarding. Those folks answering the phones will NOT answer if you ask them where they are located. As they no longer legally exist in UK, the call center clearly cannot be in the UK. That leaves India.
Q: Is TVI Express operating legally?
A: it depends on your location.
Hungary and European Union members: "not legal". Hungary has officially investigated TVI Express as a pyramid scheme, and Hungary is a member of E.U. If it is illegal in Hungary, it is likely illegal in the entire European Union (which would include Cyprus). It was rumored that German authorities and UK authorities have also investigated this scam, which may be one of the reasons why TVI Express quickly moved their legal headquarters out of UK onto Cypress in 2009.
China and most of Asia: "Not Legal" and "probably not legal".
China: China has already declared TVI Express not legal, and have convicted at least NINE for running TVI Express as pyramid scheme. TVI Express has no "legal presence" in China and never registered with the government.
Vietnam: NOT LEGAL. Vietnamese government has issued edicts requesting all local agencies pursue TVI Express fraud which is a "money game" (pyramid scheme)
Indonesia: NOT LEGAL and "haram". Indonesian Direct Selling Organization APLI have already denounced TVI Express as non-compliant, and recently a Muslim Council on Aceh declared TVI Express "haram" (unclean) for Muslims (FYI: Indonesia is over 80% Muslim). In addition, PT TVI Express Indonesia operating permit was revoked on August 3rd, 2011 and a multi-agency task force is considering criminal charges on the principals.
India: Not legal. TVI Express agreed to refund 6000 members in Sikkim back in March 2010 but admit to no wrongdoing, and in July 2011 TVI Express headquarters in India was raided by police and 2 were arrested for defrauding dozens of people.
Australia and New Zealand: "not legal now". Australian agency ACCC have gotten a court injunction against TVITeamOz promoting TVI Express, claiming it is a pyramid scheme. TVI Team Oz also violated court injunction freezing their bank account, resulting in a different lawsuit. In November 2011, the trio in TVITeamOz was formally convicting of running a pyramid scheme called TVI Express. (see Australian newspaper report )
North America: "not legal now" as of September 2010. TVI Express supporter website reported that TVI Express members were served with a "cease and desist" order in state of Georgia, and possibly Hawaii and Florida as well. Furthermore, TVI Express compensation structure seem to violate FTC and FBI guidelines on legal network marketing, and fits FTC and FBI definition of "pyramid scheme".
South America: Legal status unknown. Some countries such as Colombia have reported on the scam but no word of any government investigation.
Africa: Illegal in Namibia, and South Africa, Lesotho, investigated in Swaziland. Botswana's Consumer Watchdog denounced it as scam since early 2010, but so far no reports of official government action. Arrests of TVI Express perps in South Africa in May 2011.
Antarctica: they have MLM's there too?
Q: Has any TVI Express distributors been charged with fraud or such in Canada or United States or central and south America, as of September 2010? Is TVI Express banned in the US or Canada?
A: It is definitely illegal in state of Georgia as of September 7, 2010, and since Georgia's commercial and fraud laws are virtually the same as other states, it is likely illegal in all states. No one has been prosecuted yet, but cease and desist order has been issued in State of Georgia, so continued operation is illegal and subject to contempt of court charges.
TVI Express previously spread rumors that they had hired a famous MLM lawfirm in the US to make them compliant, and a new website was supposed to launch in December 2010, but none of that happened. No lawyer bothered to challenge the Cease and Desist (which can be protested within 21 days, but was not) resulting in a permanent ban.
Q: Is FBI investigating TVI Express?
A: No information available. FBI does not make its investigations public.
Q: I am a TVI Express distributor. Can I be charged with fraud?
A: Depends on your local laws. You may want to consult a lawyer before continuing your operations. Unless your upline is a lawyer with experience in commercial civil law, asking him would be useless. However, keep in mind that while local government cannot reach beyond borders to go after an "international company", it can and had gone after local participants.
Q: Is TVI Express "halal" or "haram" under Shariah Law?
A: Muslim Council of Aceh, Indonesia has declared TVI Express a "money game" in December 2010 and thus TVI Express is haram. Here is a link to the news article.
NOTE: Shariah law is Islamic law regarding ethical behavior and activities. Activities that are permitted are "halal" (clean), and those that are prohibited are "haram" (unclean). If certain activity was not covered by previous decision and edicts, a council of Islamic scholars will study the problem, and declare the activity either "halal" or "haram" through a fatwa.
TVI Express Ownership
Q: Who owns TVI Express?
A: That information is not available. None of the various corporate names and records found lists corporate officers, and there is no information on TVI Express website regarding this.
In September 2010, various TVI Express supporter websites started calling Tarun Trikha "owner and CEO" of TVI Express, but this cannot be independently confirmed. Please keep in mind that Tarun Trikha, before September 2010, only claim to be an 'advisory board member' and a distributor, albeit a senior one that had appeared as "leaders" in various TVI Express "conventions" in China and other locations.
The only confirmed owner is Ms. Goernani Goernawan, who is registered owner of PT (LLC) TVI Express Indonesia. Nothing is known about other branches, though there are rumored owners, such Tarun Trikha (a.k.a. Parun Trika, Taroon, Tyrone, etc.), Rahul and Anita Khurana, and so on.
NOTE: In February 2011, the main / technical contact of TVIExpress.com domain reads Tarun Trikha, and the address listed is the TVI Express address in Bangalore, India.
Q: Who runs TVI Express?
A: That information is also not available. TVI Express does not make their officer's names public. None of their employees have ever given out full names. All e-mail correspondences are signed as "TVI Express".
Q: Why is knowing the owners of the company important? I don't make any more money by knowing vs. not knowing the owners!
A: Do you lend money to strangers? Do you really expect a company to take your $250 and somehow magically turn it into $10000 and not even look into their background? Why would a company deliberately hide all of their corporate officers, owners, and so on? That is not what a reputable company would do.
Q: So who are Bill Hemming, Sam Cooper, and so on? Are they not officers or managers in TVI Express?
A: On TVI Express "advisory board", there are some names listed under "officer bearers" such as "Bill Hemming" and "Sam Cooper". However, their positions were listed as "admiral", "vice admiral", and so on. Those are not company titles, but advisory panel titles. They may hold positions in TVI Express corporate structure, but their positions and functions are unknown. In fact, they have never been seen or heard from, ever. It is speculated by at least one website that these people do not actually exist.
UPDATE: These names were removed in the May 2011 TVI Express website update. A Filipino "motivational speaker" Clarissa Calingasan was named as "vice admiral" instead.
Q: Does/did Warren Buffet own a portion TVI Express, ever?
A: Mr. Buffet does NOT nor have ever owned any portion of TVI Express. Mr. Buffet's holdings, through "Berkshire Hathaway", is a matter of public record, which you can check online through SEC filings. In fact, the quotes on TVI Express website is about the entire MLM industry in general, not about TVI Express. The quote has been chopped and manipulated, probably to mislead readers. The company Mr. Buffett was referring to is actually "Pampered Chef", which IS owned by Berkshire Hathaway. The quote was chopped from a 2006 book by Randy Gage.
Q: Does/did Sir Richard Branson (of Virgin Group) own a portion of TVI Express, ever?
A: Sir Richard Branson has NEVER owned a portion of TVI Express. Sir Richard Branson used to own a MLM company called "Virgin Cosmetics". It was made independent in January 2009, got a name change, and is no longer affiliated with Virgin Group. In fact, there is no longer any mention of Sir Richard Branson on TVI Express website since 2010.
Q: Did Bill Clinton say something good about TVI Express?
A: Bill Clinton did not say anything about TVI Express. The "quote" on TVI Express was actually about kiva.com, a micro-lending website that lends small amounts to small entrepreneurs in 3rd world countries.
Q: What about Robert "Rich Dad" Kiyosaki, and Donald Trump? Did they say anything good about TVI Express?
A: Both are promoting multi-level marketing businesses of their own, and the "quotes" are about MLM in general, NOT TVI Express in particular.
Q: Who is Tarun Trikha? What is his relation to TVI Express?
A: According to TVI Express website, Tarun Trikha is one of the TVI Express "advisory board" members. Which makes him a "senior distributor" selected to advise junior distributors. His name disappeared from TVI Express website in November 2010.
A Chinese TVI Express distributor blog dated June 2009 claimed Mr. Trikha is one of the first six "crown" (presidential?) associates of TVI Express, which would tend to make him the first one, since the other five were from China, and TVI Express was launched in India first, China second. Tarun Trikha was also seen on various conference calls, video conferences, and TVI Express distributor conventions and meetings in China, Hong Kong, and southeast Asia as a TVI Express representative.
Many have alleged him to be the "owner" and or CEO of TVI Express. This cannot be independently confirmed, but he is certainly the "face" of TVI Express. On conference calls, he claims to have direct access to at least two of the TVI Express corporate officers so he can get questions answered if he doesn't know the answer. This cannot be independently confirmed.
In September 2010, several TVI Express member websites announced that they are doing a conference call with "owner and CEO Tarun Trika".
In November 2010, Tarun Trikha's name disappeared from TVI Express website as "advisory board member".
In February 2011, Tarun Trikha is listed as primary and technical contact for tviexpress.com domain, with the Bengalore, India address that matches TVI Express India Office.
Q: Who are Rahul and Anita Khurana? What are their relations to TVI Express?
A: Rahul Khurana was once listed as a member of the TVI Express advisory board, but has since been removed (but his name can be found on some copies of TVI Express website). No reason or explanation was given. On some complaint sites, they are allegedly the corporate owners of TVI Express in India. This cannot be independently confirmed. There is a couple in California by that name, but it may be a coincidence.
Q: Why was Tarun Trikha no longer listed under advisory board panel on TVI Express?
A: No information is available. One day, his name is just gone. Nobody knows what happened to him. A week before his disappearance, some TVI Express member site claims to have talked to Tarun Trikha and a "barrister of marketing" named Aknon, who was only recently hired. Some suspect he either moved on or was ousted, others suspect his name is too widely recognized as a scam, since he always had presented himself as just another distributor, until it was revealed he's "owner and CEO" by others.
TVI Express offer of 7-day 6-night trip (and 4-day 3-night trip)
Q: Does TVI Express actually give you 7-day 6-night accommodations for two, and half the cost of air travel upon joining?
A: No. What happens is TVI Express will e-mail you a certificate with a redemption code that supposedly lets you redeem for such a trip, but there are a LOT of complications. In fact, the certificate's border is stolen off another website.
Q: What complications are there to redeem the trip?
A: First of all, it was impossible to redeem the trip for 18 months. There was supposed to be some sort of a process where you select a city, then they give you a list of hotels, from which you choose one, then wait for their "approval", then you purchase one-way tickets and they will purchase the return trip. It is a very cumbersome process, and nobody knows which hotels can be used, and what are the conditions (blackout dates, etc.)
They promised to automate it, and this "redemption portal" was promised ever since the company started in January 2009, and was promised every few months (June? October? January? March?) but never materialized.
The redemption portal FINALLY went online on June 9, 2010 (18 months after company start), but it also came with a bunch of notices... The 100 or so participating hotels are all in or near India, and you now need to pay an extra $150 USD as "taxes and processing fees".
TVI Express has been known to delete their own announcements. For example, their promise to launch the redemption portal in March 2010 has been "expired" off their own website.
Q: So what? Taxes and processing fees are reasonable.
A: They are not reasonable if it was a bait-and-switch scam. Get 7-day 6-night trip for $250... but when you try to use it, it actually costs $400. Furthermore, no such fees were mentioned on the certificate itself. There was something about hotel taxes, and fees if exchange rate changes a lot, but nothing about "processing fees". Furthermore, 60% tax and fees (150/250=0.6) is ridiculous.
Q: Can I use my eWallet funds to pay for these "taxes and processing fees"?
A: No. According to TVI Express announcement in October 2010, you must fund the "booking funds eWallet" through one of the payment processors such as Liberty Reserve. In other words, you have to use real money, and TVI Express doesn't consider their own eWallet real money.
Q: What if I can't take a full 7-day 6-night vacation?
A: TVI Express announced in October 2010 that you can now choose 4-day 3-night, in order to serve you better. Taxes will be calculated based on your selection. However, you get nothing as compensation if you take the shorter trip instead of the longer trip. Also, it's remarked that the taxes are still over $100 for the shorter trip. (See later)
EDITOR'S NOTE: How does giving members LESS trip serve members better?
Q: Is there any black-out dates for these trips?
A: Unknown. Nothing in the terms and conditions mention any sort of blackout date. However, there seem to be a lot of verbiage hidden on the actual booking portal when you book. This may be illegal as this can be considered "shrink-wrapped contract".
Q: Is there a time limit to take the trip?
A: According to TVI Express, you must take the trip within 1 year of joining, else the trip is void.
Q: Can I reschedule the trip?
A: According to TVI Express, no. If you cancel, the trip is considered used.
Q: You said all the announced participating hotels are in or near India. Where's the list?
A: It's in one of the TVI Express announcements in 2010, if they didn't "expire" it as too embarrassing. There was no announcements from TVI Express of ANY participating hotels NOT in or near India.
Q: Why does some TVI Express promo material says 5-star hotels, when the website only says 3-5 stars?
A: TVI Express shrunk the offer. You can find statements that says "5-star", "4-5 star", and "3-5 star" hotels all over the Internet. However, the official (i.e. from TVI Express) offer is "3-5 star", though it *was* at one time "5-star". The wording was modified later.
Q: Didn't TVI Express promise up to 8 people can come along, as well as an extra day, as compensation for the fees?
A: Only for SOME of the participating hotels, again, all in or near India. You have to call them to find out. No actual list was actually given, so the answer could be "none". There is also no mention of paying for air tickets beyond the first two. Also, this is apparently NOT VALID for one or more of their "direct tie-up" partners. Which hotels are their direct tie-up partner? Unknown.
Q: So how many people have supposedly went on such trips?
A: TVI Express itself have released no numbers except vague reference of "thousands" in their own announcements. Some statements by Tarun Trikha, TVI Express "advisory board" member and presidential associate had stated before that "thousands" have enjoyed such trips. Even if you accept that as 10000, that means 1% (out of 1 million members) have enjoyed such trips. Actual numbers may even be LOWER. And there is no way to verify any of the claims.
Q: Has ANYONE actually gone on such trips?
A: Reports from South Africa "Wealth Team", a TVI Express "team" of distributors, reported that many of their members were left "hanging" when they showed up at resorts and hotels they had reserved for 7-day or 4-day trips through TVI Express, only to be told either the trips were NEVER booked, or they were booked but NEVER PAID for.
Q: So they charge $150 "fees" for 7-day 6-night trip. How much they charge for 4-day 3-night?
A: According to one person on a comment board, a 4-day 3-night trip in Florida has taxes that came out to be $115. This cannot be verified. Keep in mind that you must put funds in the "booking funds eWallet" using Liberty Reserve or some other methods, and that has its own fees (charged by Liberty Reserve). Finally, the "hotel tax" rate in Florida is about 13-15% (depending on county). That should be about $35 for a $250 trip. By charging $115, what do you think TVI Express do with the rest?
To be continued...
This is just part 1 of "The Other TVI Express FAQ". There are quite a few other questions that will be answered. Stay tuned.
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